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Discussion Starter #1
I would first of all like to thank everyone that posted replies to my last thread "First Sport Bike (2?)"

However, The question that I wanted answered the most wasn't even answered once. There has to be somebody, so here it is again.....

How many of you started off on a 900 or bigger Sport Bike, and if you did...do you feel that you made a mistake?
 

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Finding riders that started on a big bike will not be hard, but finding one that'll admit it was a bad idea will be!
 

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Tristan said:
Finding riders that started on a big bike will not be hard, but finding one that'll admit it was a bad idea will be!
That's true.

For those who won't admit it, let me say this. My observations of the few (10 or so) I know who did is that they have had multiple wrecks in a relatively short period of time. Most got away with it with little more than some road rash and/or some relatively minor broken bones. This soured about half of them on riding at all, so they quit. One on a 750 hit a car and spent the better part of a year getting operations and in rehab. His one leg won't ever be completely O.K. but his limp is hardly noticeable. He now has an R-1 and one year later has wrecked it about four more times that I'm aware of but solo, two of them losing wheelies and two from overpowering the rear wheel in a slow corner. He will explain to you how "you couldn't do anything about it" (1 cold tires:rolleyes: and 2, raining). Another one on a 'Busa dismembered himself and took out his inexperienced buddy on a 929 while doing it. The buddy spent 6 weeks in the hospital and about six months recovering as much as he will, while the dismembered one wasn't NEARLY as lucky. Nice service though.

In the next category, much larger, is those who had a 600 or so and "outgrew" it in a few months or a year, with 3000 or fewer miles experience. That group wrecks pretty good. too.

Now that I think about it, I don't know one person who started on a 600 or better that hasn't had some kind of accident, however minor. I can think of only two people who started on smaller bikes who haven't wrecked ever. One was on a 350 Honda back in the early '70's. He put 13,000 miles on it in one year and then moved up to a 750 Honda (about 50 HP vs. about 95 HP for most new 600's). He quit riding after about one more year due to an overbearing woman that he married and later divorced. The other one was my sister who started on a 175 back then. She still rides about 30 years later but was never too crazy.

Myself, 32 years now, haven't wrecked in about 28 years. I didn't wreck my first bike, but did my 750 Honda. That's the bike that I really searched for the limits on... and found... about 7 times.;)

My daughter just started this past summer on an EX-500. After about 1500 miles she had her first minor crash. Due to proper gear, she received only a very minor bruise on her leg, bike about $3000.00 damage.

Is that enough? :rolleyes: ;) I CAN keep going!:D

BTW, the EX-500 should be on your short list of good starter bikes.
 

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My last motorcycle was a VF500 Interceptor, which I bought in 1986 & sold in 1989.

I rode motorcycles only on and off from 1990 to 1997 but never owned one.

In 1997, I bought a ZX11D. That's 8 years without a bike.

Was I sorry? Was the ZX11 too much bike for me?

Well, I'm still here. The worst thing that happened was I dropped the ZX11, after only 3 months, going up my driveway at walking speeds. I didn't wheelie to death. I didn't accelerate out of control. Not once did I ever feel that the ZX11 was "too much bike" for me. It was as docile as a kitten when ridden as such. A total monster when there's a monster behind the bars.

Analyzing my abilities at the time:

I sucked in the twisties. So I stayed away until I felt comfortable enough riding in the turns.

I exercised self control. Judicious self control.

I gradually worked my way along the throttle. As I gained experience, I twisted more throttle.

It took me the better part of a year until I felt confident enough to ride the ZX11 in all modes and types of roads. However, it took another year for me to be able to reach the limits of the ZX11's handling and power.

Do I feel like I made a mistake? In hindsight....no, cause I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The first time I took the bike home, from the minute I started the engine all the way to my driveway, I felt confident. My skills were all still there. However, I never tried anything beyond what I felt comfortable with.

You however, might be different 'cause you have NEVER ridden a streetbike in any length of time. I do believe that if you have the skills, all you're missing is the experience. To gain experience, you must ride. But ride within your limitations. Only YOU will know where those limits lie. If you're set on getting a CBR900RR, but you're having doubts, perhaps you should re-consider. But if you feel confident that you can control the bike and yourself, go for it.
 

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I think rogue is right.

My first bike was a 10 year old CB900F six weeks after taking the MSF course on a whim (it's free in Illinois, just took it for fun with no intent to buy). Not exactly a rocket by todays standards of power but still....... What I started out with was an understanding that I was new and the bike was big for a beginner. I.E. respect and patience to not use all of the throttle. Along these lines was a good piece of advice from dad, "choose where you're going to be stupid carefully."

Think before you twist and you could be fine. I could make a gixxer 1000 power like a gs 500 by simply turning the throttle no more than 1/3

Old bikes increased in weight along with power and thus heft was an issue for a beginner. Today the difference in weight between a gixxer/yzf 600 to 1000 in weight is minimal and you get at least as good a suspension if not better. If you're not blind to the fact that you have a lot to learn and a single moment of indiscretion could get you dead quick you could do fine.

The fact that you were concerned enough to search out reasoned and experienced opinions (to bad all you got was us) tells me you get the seriousness of biting off such a big bite so to speak. Don't choke.
 

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I started out on an R1 and haven't been riding for very long, however I do not feel it was the wrong decision. One thing I noticed after acclimating myself to my bike and trying a friend's 600 was that the throttle on my R1 is much more sensitive than on his bike. I can't ride my bike to it's full potential yet, but since I learned to ride on the street on this bike I also won't punch the gas out of habit either. Everyone is different, but I would rather start with the equipment that will last me years rather than start small and build up to it.
 

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Rogue_Biker said:
However, it took another year for me to be able to reach the limits of the ZX11's handling and power.
Originally posted by Rio
I can't ride my bike to it's full potential yet
I don't have the experience on my own to make this comment so I'll draw on the experience of those I've been priviledged to meet and talk with and from what I've read. Aside from a select few, todays litre bikes are so powerful that rarely is their a person who can ride the bike to its limitations. Motorcycles in general have increased exponentially in power, design, handling, mechanics, electrical systems... etc over the last 20 years or so. These bikes are so monstrous, that it is near impossible for a human to ride them to their fullest potential.
 

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Bear with me as this is boring but I'd like you to know what a new rider has to go through here before he/she can get a "big" bike.
Option 1: Age over 21/ Direct access test on bike with 46.6 bhp or more.
1. Do compulsorybasic training (CBT).
2. Ride a 125cc bike on "L" plates or a bigger bike WHILE accompanied with approved instructor on another bike.
3. Pass your theory test.
4. Take the practical test on bike with 46.6 bhp or more.
5. A pass allows you to ride any bike.

There are 2 other options dealing with people under the age of 21 which basically only allows those to ride a bike which is restricted to 33 bhp for 2 years before giving them an "unrestricted" licence. This means that someone between the ages of 17 to 21 can go out and buy a Hayabusa which WILL be restricted to 33 bhp for 2 years.:mad: That's of course if they could get insurance for it. Highly unlikely !

Think yourself lucky that you have the choice to buy what you want. But whatever your decision, take a roadcraft course of some discription and enjoy yourself.:)
 

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Dude, it all boils down to this and you can nuke any question, theory or point of view to death if you'd like........getting a bigger bike will only be as uncontrolable as you let it be. Bigger bikes are more expensive, whether we are talking insurance or MSRP......the question I quess is this, and it is only something you can answer as a individual.....are you a mature rider? If you think that you can handle the situations a bigger bike will put you in as a rider....enjoy.....if not, then why are we still talking about this?:) Good Luck
 

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First bike a litre bike?

I admit that my first bike was a RF900. Big bore bike. Detuned GSXR1100 motor. Plenty of power, though I respected it. Was it a mistake?? Nope. At the time I wanted a bike that could carry a passenger without a problem in handling or performance. No 600 carry's a passenger and retains its performance.

A couple phoenix people might say that a guy on an R6 (can't recall his name) came past me with his girl on the bike, but I attest that it wasn't a race and he was way over his head thinking that the bike still handled the same.

Anyway, respect the bike whether its 33hp or 133hp. The consequences are the same for mistakes.


P:D
 

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Re: First bike a litre bike?

Paul 750 said:
Anyway, respect the bike whether its 33hp or 133hp. The consequences are the same for mistakes.
Good point Paul. Another good point is that while litre bikes can be ridden safely they are the bikes that, because of their power and quick response, are the least forgiving. It's simply real easy to get yourself into trouble fast.
 

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It's not that you can't, it's that it's probably going to make your riding experience all that more difficult...
 

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Well, Ronjon

I started out with dirt/trail bikes. 1st sport bike was a 500 Interceptor new in 1984. Totaled it in late 1985.

Then had a 750 Interceptor, 750 GSXR, now a 1000FZR.
 

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I have to disagree on the consequences being the same on a 33 hp bike or a 133 hp bike. The more powerful and heavier the bike the greater the mistake is magnified. As some one has already mentioned MSRP and insurance are more for a liter class bike as are all other operating costs. Ever tried to keep a 1000cc sport bike in tires riding 10 or 20,000 miles a year, it gets expensive.

I started out riding by myself at age 9 on a 3.5 HP minibike, followed by a Honda 90 all before I was 12. My first street bike was a CB450 in 1978. Back then that was considered a midsized bike. Since then I have had roughly a 1/2 dozen bikes ranging in size from a 650 to a Goldwing. I have only had one minor wreck in these 23 years and 250,000 plus miles. A car turned left into me while I was passing it. I managed to get down from 55 mph to 25 mph before impact. I walked away unhurt due to average protective equipment. My current bikes have 32,000 miles, 60,000 miles and 78,000 on them.

My point is starting small and gathering lots of experience is the safest way to become an old motorcyclist. My father has ridden close to a million miles without a moving accident on a bike. A woman did back over him once at a stop light though. There are very few poeple that can approach the performance potential of a 600 cc sportbike. If you don't believe me attend an AMA Supersport race and watch DuHamel or Bostrum, they can reach its potential. You may not be able to do everything you like on an EX500,Hawk 650, GS500 etc. but you can do most everything and not get bored anytime soon.

Rick
NCVFR
 

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Age vs Insurance

How old are you?

Is cost of insurance going to be a big issue, because if you're under 21 then finding affordable insurance on a liter bike is probably going to be tough.

I would always recommend for someone to start off on a midsize used motorcycle. Ride the heck out of it for a year or so and then sell it. They will retain almost all of their value for resale and they are a HELL of a lot cheaper to fix when you make those inevitable newbie mistakes like dropping it in the driveway or garage or parking lot and most of them are a total blast to ride.

Don't go out and read a lot reviews in the magazines that say such and such 600 is down on power from one of the others and think it's not going to be enough bike for you learn on or not going to be any fun after a year of riding.

I rebuilt my GPz 550 from a wrecked old racebike and it probably has 65 or so RWHp and it's still a lot of fun. I rode my brothers KLR650 dual purpose not long ago and I thought it was a total blast. You can have fun on just about anything this side of a 90cc scooter and don't let anyone tell you that you have to have the biggest baddest bike in the USA to have fun riding.

Personally I would much rather have an old POS that I could ride hard than some super expensive race replica that I had to baby around because I was scared to death every time the rear wheel broke loose. :eek:

That's just my .02

Later,
Eric
 

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elodello said:
It's not that you can't, it's that it's probably going to make your riding experience all that more difficult...
That's a short and sweet summary.:) Beings that you have a 95%+ chance that you will at least drop, and likely have some sort of at least minor mishap, which one do you want to damage? That's the financial side.

There are many new skills that need to be acquired and many instinctive reactions that everybody has built in to them that have to be un-learned to properly ride a motorcycle and especially to properly react in a bad situation. Whole books have been written on just this subject (Soft Science of Motorcycle Riding K.Code) and are WELL worth the investment, but they can only shorten the learning curve. With the books and about 10,000 miles experience under your belt, you may be getting there. In the meantime, a real high performance bike, especially too much power, can compound the errors you'll make and turn a bad situation worse. Add to that the pressure to "see what it's got", self inflicted or outside pressure (aka riding over your head), and you're completing the recipe for disaster. That's the REAL down side.

After reading all of these posts I think I see a theme (don't do it). Even those who say to go ahead and get the bigger bike acknowledge that you HAVE to take it easy while you learn. I prefer the more economical and inherently safer approach, "if it ain't there, you can't use it". Best of luck and be careful, whichever way you go.:)
 

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Nice thread. Lot's of good advice from everybody.
 

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Last I saw bodywork/mirrors/levers for a 600 was just as expensive as for a 1000 so the arguments that your inevitable dropping of the bike (and it is inevitable) will cost more is a bit silly but this is a minor issue when looking at the whole thing.

Good piece of advice in the thread is to start on a used bike (whether a 600 or 1000 in my opinion is up to you). You will drop it, tear it up, and learn a ton in the first year (look out for the oil in the center of the toll booth lane and other places not to put your foot when coming to a stop etc). So if it's going to get beat up a little why not start on a 3 grand bike that torn up a little in a year is still worth 2 grand.

As far as I'm concerned you can get into trouble on a 600 DAMN near as easy as on a liter so you have to play it smart either way. A 600 does the 1/4 mile in 11's vs. 10's for a 1000. Not a big difference cause they both rip, one just a little more than the other.

What bikes are you considering anyway?
 

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Oh I forgot to add that you could probably buy the cheap used bike on a credit card or cash or personal loan and avoid having full coverage insurance. On my ~$6500 yzf they want 1500 full vs. 100 for liability. As far as I'm concerned I get a bike for free every 4 years that I don't total it or get it stolen by not using full coverage. The savings can be huge if you're willing to take responsibility for your investment rather than pay someone else to do so.
 
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